Unlock data-driven demand planning with events

Valerie Williams
Senior Content Marketing Manager

Events drive people movement

When attended events ramp up, so does people movement – which drives retail spending, travel and hotel bookings, and orders at restaurants. Even unattended events (think school holidays and public holidays) and unscheduled events such as severe weather drive demand up and down for companies across industries. 

Events are powerful demand drivers

Companies such as hoteliers, quick serve restaurants, retailers, and more use intelligent event data to find out when there will be a sudden influx –or drop– in the amount of demand within a given radius of their locations. This gives them the opportunity to take a variety of actions:

Strategically adjust pricing in advance

Identify impactful events that send your demand up or down to enable your model or team to adjust prices earlier. When you know your upcoming demand, you can create better dynamic pricing strategies. 

Let’s take a hotel for example. When a big conference will be taking place two blocks from their hotel in a couple of months, having early insight into this will enable the team to appropriately price the rooms. Or when there are four smaller-volume events taking place on the same day, which combined, will result in a surge in demand.

Right-size staffing ahead of busy (or slower) shifts

Labor forecasting errors aren't just expensive – they're frustrating. Companies use event data to avoid losing customers due to long wait times, staff due to being overworked, and money from over-rostering workers when they’re not needed. 

For example, a fast casual restaurant located near a concert venue will see spikes in demand not just for major headliners, but also for smaller acts planning teams may now know about. With awareness of all events and how many attendees they’re bringing in, the business can avoid labor costs associated with over and under staffing.

Ensure a consistent, positive customer experience

A smooth shopping experience means easy access to the products and sales support your customers want. Advance knowledge of demand fluctuations is key to ensuring shoppers can easily get the products they came in for, and that there’s enough staff on the schedule to help them.

When stores are unprepared for busy days, it creates a lackluster customer experience. Think about the last time you went shopping at a retail store. Did they have the items you were looking for in stock, or were they all out? Was there a long line at the checkout, or were you able to get out of there in a timely manner? Accurately matching inventory and staffing to demand ensures retail shoppers have a positive shopping experience, even when it's busier than usual.

Use events to understand demand at a local level

Demand intelligence provides businesses a new stream of intelligence, improving the accuracy of their forecasting and planning. If managers can better anticipate spikes and drops in demand, they can keep their strategy up to date for every day of the week – making the most of every fluctuation in demand.

As many large companies may already be tracking large scale events that they know impact demand, the key here is having access to the hundreds – and often thousands – of events happening every month across the world.

From there, teams can drill down to the individual cities and locations. The context and insight at the local level can make or break demand planning for inventory, supply chain, marketing, and staffing decisions.